05 December 2023

InnovaWood General Assembly 2023

InnovaWood General Assembly 2023 | 13-14 June | Tallinn, Estonia


The 21st Annual General Assembly of InnovaWood was held from 13 to 14 June 2023 in Tallinn, Estonia and was hosted by the Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech).

The event offered networking actions and lively workshops, interesting keynote speakers and new members who joined our community. The common passion of members for wood science, education, and innovation fostered a remarkable atmosphere to exchange and build new partnerships.

The InnovaWood network had the opportunity to enjoy a stay in the beautiful city of Tallinn. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Jan Kers, Kärt Kängsepp, Anti Rohumaa and the entire TalTech team for their exceptional hospitality and warm welcome in Estonia.

This two-day event brought together 42 persons from 29 member organizations and partners, representing 15 countries, in Tallinn. In addition, 14 persons from 12 organizations joined online.

From left to right: Uwe Kies (IW), Erik Larnøy (NIBIO)


Annual activity report highlights

Jaan Kers of TalTech, and Erik LarnøyNIBIO, the President of InnovaWood welcomed the participants on the first day. 

The morning session focused on the activity report for 2022/23, providing an outlook for the future by Uwe Kies, Secretary General of InnovaWood.

§  Secretariat: The team has grown over the previous years to a good mix of different competencies and various European nationalities. This will enable InnovaWood to advance its information and communication services and strengthening our position in the European research community.

§  Network and membership: InnovaWood continues to grow and represents today over 74 organizations from 29 countries. This diverse membership comprises 30 research and technology organizations (RTOs), 33 universities, 8 cluster and promotion organizations, and 4 vocational education and training centers.

§  Alliances and platforms: InnovaWood creates advocacy and synergies through alliances and platforms, such as the EUFORE HE partnership and policy platforms like SCAR Forest and woodPoP. The Wood4Bauhaus Alliance boosts our visibility in advocacy efforts. We have also been invited to the NEB Academy as a Board member. IW is launching the BASAJAUN Open Innovation Platform (OIP) as a dissemination and partnering tool for innovative R&D and EU projects, thus solidifying our role as a link between members and policy and innovation activities.

§  Communication: In our role as a communication partner, InnovaWood actively supports the success of our consortia. We work closely with IW member coordinators and consortium partners, offering seamless communication, efficient reporting, and effective social media outreach. This is what we can offer for your members in the new consortia.

§  Projects: InnovaWood has supported and participated in many European project proposals. Several new projects were launched in 2023. In these projects we want to create more ideas to innovate with wood. InnovaWood takes part mainly as communication partner.

§  Outlook: We are developing new value propositions: calendar, navigator, support in consortia building, advocacy activities, Open Innovation Platform, webinars and trainings also in connection with our projects. We are undertaking several initiatives to enhance and improve the network and how it operates on a day-to-day basis with our members.  Our aim is to expand and strengthen the network to better serve our community.

In the General Assembly plenary, the members approved the proposed resolutions. At this occasion, the InnovaWood team thanks Mark Irle for his active role as member of the Executive Board and former President during 4 years. The General Assembly elected Chris De Roock, General Manager at WOOD.BE in Belgium as a new Executive Board member. Chris shares more than 30 years of passion for wood, furniture and innovation. Welcome to the team! 


 New members and networking 

Five organisations have joined InnovaWood as new members in 2023, and four of them presented their organizations at the General Assembly:


§  TUM.wood group of the Technical University of Munich, Germany, presented by Sandra Schuster

§  BaskEgur, Basque Wood Association, Spain, presented by Oskar Azkarate Zabalo

§  CETEMAS Forestry and Wood Technology Centre, Spain, presented by Abel Vega

§  XAMK South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, Finland, presented by Anti Rohumaa

§  PULS Poznan University of Life Sciences, Poland

 (Scroll down the page to find their presentations).


From left to right: Sandra SchusterOskar Azkarate ZabaloAbel VegaAnti Rohumaa

Besides the coffee breaks, a lively speed networking session allowed the participants to get to know each other better and to connect.

The following session delved into building a stronger network, exploring how InnovaWood operates and evolves, as well as defining InnovaWood's identity. Florence Kuijl presented InnovaWood’s refreshed visual identity set to strengthen our brand recognition in the European wood sector and research community.

In addition, IW members had the possibility to expose posters and showcase results of some projects and research activities they are working on.


Keynote presentations

Afternoon was dedicated to wood science and technology innovation presentations from the key speakers:

§  Anna Sandak from InnoRenew CoE presented her groundbreaking research project about engineered living materials and their role in sustainable and resilient architecture.

§  Eero Nigumann from Timbeco Woodhouse presented practical examples of the Renovation Wave in efficient timber retrofitting of apartment buildings.

§  Alar Kuusik from TalTech discussed the potential of 5G technology for SMEs in the wood sector.


 From left to right: Anna SandakEero NigumannAlar Kuusik 



Day 2 delved into parallel discussion tables centered around specific topics of cooperation among IW members.

Table 1 -  EcoReFibre and Circular Economy in the wood sector, moderated by Erik Larnøy - developed cooperative opportunities to understand and influence the utilization of post-consumer wood in Europe.

Table 2 - Funding opportunities and Open Innovation Platform, mdoerated by Uwe Kies - discussed possible support services offered by the Open Innovation Platform; established an Open Partnering Notice Board; and shared tips and tricks fro successful project development.

Table 3 - InnovaWood 2030 - Building a Thriving Network, moderated by Oliver Jancke - discussed the format of the General Assembly and the tools members use for communication with each other and the IW secretariat. It identified potential new elements that could maximize the benefits derived from IW network.



Company visit and social program


Second part of Day 2 offered the visit to Timbeco Woodhouse, one of Estonia's leading wood construction companies known for its modern prefabrication factory. Attendees had the opportunity to visit the facility and gain insights into advanced wood construction techniques. 

The social program in Tallinn provided a wonderful opportunity for networking, complemented by a captivating guided tour in Tallinn with interesting insight in the long city history shaped by various occupations from foreign powers – a history of great importance for Europe in today’s political context.

The tour culminated in an official dinner at the restaurant Pegasus, nestled within the heart of Tallinn, where attendees continued to build valuable relationships and exchange ideas, recognizing the significance of Tallinn's history in the broader European context. Moreover, early arrivals on Day 1 were invited to an informal get-together at the Nordic Hotel Forum, creating a relaxed atmosphere for networking and fostering connections with fellow professionals.

The program of the 2023 General Assembly emphasised networking and exchange on the latest developments and opportunities in forestry and wood science and technology. We look forward to the continued growth of InnovaWood's community and to a good time together with you next year!


More impressions from the InnovaWood General Assembly 2023








Keynote presentations


Member presentations

Presentations of new members

   TUM.wood, Technical University of Munich 

Sandra Schuster, TUM (Germany)

BaskEgur, Basque Country cluster organization representing the forest nad wood sector

 Oskar Azkarate, BaskEgur (Spain)

XAMK, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences

Anti Rohumaa, XAMK (Finland)

 CETEMAS, Forestry and Wood Technology Center

Abel Vega, CETEMAS (Spain)



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Last update: 02/08/2023

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